Creating a ketubah for a same-sex wedding
The ketubah is a powerful document, signifying the love and commitment between two people. Because of this, it has become a very popular tradition with gay and lesbian couples — a way to proudly celebrate their marriage as more and more states finally recognize this basic human right.
The Foundation Covenant
In 2009, wedding planner Bernadette Smith and celebrant Cindy Matchett approached me to help them create a new tradition for same-sex weddings: the Foundation Covenant. The Foundation Covenant is inspired by the tradition of the ketubah and the Quaker wedding certificate, and it is signed not only by the couple, but by everyone attending the ceremony, respecting the commitment and support of the couples' friends and community. The artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper, leaving plenty of room for everyone to sign. On my order form, this option is in the "Signatures" section at the bottom. You can learn more about how the Foundation Covenant integrates into a same-sex wedding ceremony on Bernadette's blog.
choosing the art for a same-sex ketubah
I offer a wide range of modern nature-themed ketubah designs. Since my ketubah designs do not use any religious-specific symbolism, they are very popular with gay or lesbian couples who aren't Jewish, but still love the idea of having a ketubah as part of their wedding.
choosing the text for a same-sex ketubah
There are many options! I have written a number of texts specifically for gay and lesbian couples that avoid gender-specific terms (like "bride" and "groom") and recognize some of the values of same-sex marriage:
- For the English text: I offer a number of texts that were written specifically for same-sex weddings (named Commitment 1-3, Foundation Covenant 1 and 2).
- For the Hebrew text: The "Commitment Hebrew" text is based on the traditional language used in Reform ceremonies, replacing the words "bride" and "groom" with the Hebrew word for "partner".
- Or, adapt any other text: If you prefer any of my other English texts, I'd be happy to remove any gender-specific words (like "bride" and "groom"), free of charge! You can also use the Hebrew transtion of this text in your ketubah, free of charge.
The last thing you need to do is make sure that the lines where you sign the ketubah are labeled correctly: for example, using Bride/Bride, Groom/Groom, Parnter/Partner, or Beloved/Beloved.